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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr
enik1138 at popapostle dot com
V: Laid Bare V
"Laid Bare"
Written by Gwendolyn M. Parker
Directed by David Barrett
Original air date: January 18, 2011


Anna enlists Ryan to uncover the Fifth Column; Lisa begins undergoing a transformation.


Read the detailed episode recap at IMDB


Didja Notice?


What brought Anna into Lisa's sleeping chamber just as her daughter is beginning to undergo bodily changes? Did Anna somehow know it was happening right at that moment?


Anna refers to the changes in Lisa's skin as her "breeding skin".


During their discussion about the breeding changes, we learn that Anna has been leading Lisa to believe that her grandmother, Diana, died quite some time ago. Presumably, Lisa knows nothing about Diana's imprisonment in the bowels of the ship.


During Anna's discussion with Diana, we learn it was when Anna's own breeding skin began to grow that she betrayed her mother.


Dr. Miller's laptop has some unusual decorations. But then, he's a young, hip doctor, I guess! laptop


Ryan warns the other Fifth Columnists about Malik's fangs and tail, saying that females can whip their tail out whenever they want to. Do the males not have a tail?


Ryan confirms that skinning a V of it's cloned human skin will kill it. In the study of "It's Only the Beginning", I questioned whether skinning was merely a torture and not a form of death; now we know, it does kill them.


At 11:45 in the episode, a piece of electronic equipment in the Fifth Column hideout is labeled as a MacFly Plus. As far as I can tell, it's a made-up brand/model. It looks similar to an Ethernet switch for a computer network. But who knows, maybe it's a flux capacitor?
MacFly Plus


When Ryan cuts off her finger, Malik's scream sounds slightly inhuman.


At 12:39 in the episode, there appear to be a couple of Buddha statues on the mantle of Agent Malik's apartment, part of her cover of being a human of Indian heritage.


There is V writing appearing on the data screens that Erica and Ryan look at in Malik's apartment from 13:50-14:05 in the episode, but it is too blurry to make out.


Creating a makeshift fire bomb to cover their scent at Malik's apartment, Ryan and Erica appear to mix bleach, dishwashing detergent, and aluminum foil in a bowl and put it in a microwave oven for 30 seconds or so. Don't try this at home.


At 15:26 on the Blu-ray, there is V writing on the data screen of Father Jack that Anna shows to Decker. But the V characters are difficult to make out and some of them don't even look like the normal V alphabet borrowed from V80.
V writiing


As Ryan and the rest search through Malik's records, we see some V writing and a number of familiar names. The V writing that is legible translates into program terms: UPDATED, COMMAND, and DATA. Many of the human names listed are familiar to us as members of the production crew of V: Katherine Gilroy (producer), John Gallagher (production coordinator), Moni El Batrik (art department assistant), Wayne Power, Clark Candy (production coordinator), and James Thompson. Here, these are the names of people who have been abducted by the Visitors for testing, but in previous episodes ("Pound of Flesh" and "Hearts and Minds") they were names of Visitor diplomats and FBI agents!
Katherine Gilroy John Gallagher
Moni El Batrik
Wayne Power
James Thompson
Sophie Allen


The Visitor who is abducting humans for Joshua's experiments is driving a van that says Midnight Samaritans (with New York license plate 3698 CKL). It appears to be a fictitious faith-based organization (the logo bears the Christian fish symbol) under which the Visitors are operating to obtain test subjects. Malik later says that another undercover V is posing as a driver for the group (which provides meals for the homeless), so it may be a legitimate group (in the V universe) that has been infiltrated.

At 18:34 on the Blu-ray, a USA Today newspaper machine is seen in the background.


At 19:06 in the episode, Malik makes what could be called a V roar. Listen: V roar

The convenience store scene, from 21:53-23:27 on the Blu-ray, looks as if it may have been shot in a real convenience store. Throughout this scene, it looks like the producers may have used computer blurring to make the product names of items on the shelves too indistinct to read. However, some real world brands are still seen: Halls cough drops; Excel, Trident, and Dentyne gum; Mentos and Butterfinger candy; Lay's and Miss Vicki's potato chips; Tostito's tortilla chips; Reese's Peanut Butter Cups; Oberto jerky; 5-Hour Energy.
convenience store 


Sid comments that the tissue samples he's taken from Malik are degrading incredibly quickly and Ryan responds that it's a defense mechanism: if his people are taken or killed, they can't be studied. That makes it sound as if it must be an artificial adaptation they've brought upon themselves, perhaps through drugs or gene manipulation.


In "Heretic's Fork", Erica (and the rest) were hesitant, at best, about Hobbes torturing their prisoner for information. Here, she seems quite willing to let it happen to Malik (though she appears to still be sympathetic to her suffering). Does the difference have to do with gaining information about her son or merely the fact that Malik is not human?


Visitor writing appears on Joshua's data screen (in reverse) at 32:19 in the episode. The inverted image below shows just jumbled letters, not spelling any discernible words.
V writing


At 34:22 in the episode, newspaper vending machines for USA Today (also seen earlier) and the Daily News are seen. The New York Daily News is a tabloid-style newspaper published since 1919.


Next to Ryan at 34:30, a poster ad for 5 gum is visible outside the convenience store, with the slogan "Everyone experiences it differently." This may have been an intentional product placement in the show, though it goes by awfully fast.

At 35:40 in the episode, Father Jack and Decker watch Anna's doctored video of Jack on a web site that appears to be called FaceTime Vid. The logo is obviously based on YouTube and the name probably inspired by Facebook. YouTube logo


Decker thanks Erica for saving him yesterday (from the bomber), revealing that this entire episode takes place the day after "Serpent's Tooth".


What is the strange, stringy pod that Diana has been seen sitting in since her introduction in "Red Rain"? Is it the Visitors' preferred type of bed?


At 41:09 in the episode, Anna's two bodyguards appear to have an accentuated Visitor logo on their uniforms that highlights the "V" portion of the symbol.
 V symbol


Memorable Dialog

just like me.wav
fangs and tail.wav
we've got Visitors.wav
locate and extract.wav
test subjects will not survive.wav
science boy.wav
the brink of death.wav
look into his soul.wav
they want us.wav
you have me.wav
I proved you wrong.wav

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